About authorsherry

Sherry is the author of several YA novels including The Gods of Fate trilogy, After Burn: Military Brats, and the Lost Imperials series which she co-writes with Tyler H. Jolley. Her newest novel, EXTRACTED, is due for release 11.12.13

Thankful for YOU!

This month, Tyler and I are co-posting on the 19th and 23rd, since our co-authored novel, Extracted, came out this month.  Today we are thankful for everyone who has been a part of our journey.

And as a special shout out, we are VERY thankful to Lisa Amowitz who created our cover.  It’s absolutely perfect and we absolutely owe some of our success to her.

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Back to School Blues

YEAH RIGHT!

I have to admit, summer vacation, while always nice, is the most frustrating part of the year for me. With all my kiddos home, with all the fun and traveling we do together, there is no time for me to write. Which leads to terrible things like missed deadlines, edit stress, and general writer’s guilt. So while back to school for them means back to work for me, it’s also a real breath of fresh air.

Most people would love a three month break from their jobs. Does that make me crazy? Yep. I’m a writer. Writing and being a little crazy go hand in hand.

See, we ‘work’ because for us, writing is as imperative as breathing. When I go for too long without writing, I get all kinds of anxiety. I have weird dreams, talk to myself, and sometimes I get so lost in my own mind it keeps me from focusing on whatever I’m trying to do at the time, which can be really bad. Like when I’m driving. My ‘work’ is what keeps me sane. So please join me in a heartfelt welcome back to autumn and, for me, a return to doing the thing I love most on earth. Making stuff up.

Heat Wave!

Am I the only person who has a hard time writing in heat like this? 103 in the shade this week and the sanity is melting off me like ice cream. It’s impossible for me to focus. Bring on the mid-day rain storms and crisp, chilly air of Autumn, please!

So what do you do when it’s too hot to write?

Well, I’ve been taking some time to fill my tanks, as it were. My creativity tanks. I’ve been going to movies, hiking, exploring old mines, traveling, anything at all to refuel on those things that will keep my creativity humming along in the next few months. And thankfully, I can feel it working. Just last night I had a bit of dialogue float through my brain that I had to write down immediately. I don’t know who said it or where it goes yet, but I will. I can feel my creative tsunami on the horizon.

Some people don’t need to do this. Some people are so filled with creative energy, it may never run out. I, sadly, am not one of those people.

But on the plus side, my tanks are nearly full (I can tell by how many new book ideas I’m hit with just as my head hits the pillow at night) and I’m ready to get back to the actual writing part of life.

So, my question writer friends is, how do you fill your creative tanks?

 

EXTRACTED

Welcome to the war. The Tesla Institute is a premier academy that trains young time travelers called Rifters. Created by Nicola Tesla, the Institute seeks special individuals who can help preserve the time stream against those who try to alter it.

The Hollows are a rogue band of Rifters who tear through time with little care for the consequences. Armed with their own group of lost teens–their …only desire to find Tesla and put an end to his corruption of the time stream.
Torn between them are Lex and Ember, two Rifters with no memories of their life before joining the time war.
When Lex’s girlfriend dies during a mission, the only way he can save her is to retrieve the Dox, a piece of tech which allows Rifters to re-enter their own timeline without collapsing the time stream. But the Dox is hidden deep within the Telsa Institute, which means Lex must go into the enemy camp. It’s there he meets Ember, and the past that was stolen from them both comes flooding back.
Now armed with the truth of who they are, Lex and Ember must work together to save the future before the battle for time destroys them both…again.
* * * *
Add EXTRACTED to your Goodreads
Follow The Lost Imperials on Facebook
Discover the world of The Lost Imperials on their Official Website

Cha-cha-cha changes…

You haven’t seen me around here much lately, and for that I’m deeply sorry. As any author will tell you, you sometimes reach what I like to call ‘project overload’. Between the new projects in outline stages, the projects I’m actively writing, and the nearly finished projects I’m editing, I literally can’t remember what day it is half the time. Add to that the craziness of 4 kids on summer vacation and a whole house remodel, and yowza! But alas, I couldn’t stay away for long.

This month we are talking about transitions. It’s something I’ve been thinking about quite a bit since I got home from BEA. I would like to take a brief moment to thank everyone–all the SHPers, Bloggers, Buyers, Distributers, Editors, and everyone who came out to support EXTRACTED. It was truly one of the best experiences of my life and YOU made that happen, so from the bottom of my heart, thank you!

I began my career writing fan fiction, then moved up to working with my first publisher on my own novels. It was quite an exciting experience, though it still wasn’t quite what I expected. I expected big fat royalty checks, legions of fans, and gnomes who would come over and do my laundry.

Looking back, I suppose my expectations were unrealistic. But that’s normal when you are just starting out. You think you will sign that contract and all your dreams are going to come true. What I actually discovered is this: Publishing is hard. Marketing is harder. Editing makes me want to spork myself in the eye.

So I continued for a few years, writing for small publishers who, while wonderful, didn’t have the ability to get my book where I really wanted it. In the hands of the readers. Then something amazing happened.

I got signed by a larger publisher. One that had hitherto unknown-to-me resources to market, distribute, and generally promote my book. People I’ve never met write me asking about it, and it isn’t even out yet! It’s amazing. I feel very…legitimate. And humbled. I might even have an agent very soon! For someone who has gone this whole process alone, that’s a mind-boggling thought.

More than that, It’s given me the confidence to keep moving forward with my writing. I’m transitioning from an obscure, small press author into something much more. This must be what a butterfly feels like before it breaks out of it’s cocoon. With every book you release, there is nagging self doubt and insecurity. It can cripple some writers–I’ve seen it. But for me, reaching this threshold means turning a corner. Yes, there will always be that fear that no one will like my book or that it will get slaughtered on Goodreads, but I made it this far. I’ve grown and evolved into something better than I was. Hopefully a little better of a writer, hopefully a little more savvy of a promoter, but most of all, I hope I’m a little braver too.

I am, however, still waiting on those laundry gnomes.

Is 11.12.13 too long to wait to get a copy of EXTRACTED? You can enter our Goodreads giveaway! It’s a signed uncorrected Proof paperback straight from BEA! Good luck!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Extracted by Sherry D. Ficklin

Extracted

by Sherry D. Ficklin

Giveaway ends August 06, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

The myth of getting ‘lucky’

I don’t believe in luck, good or bad. People told me when I started publishing (note: not when I started writing. Writing and publishing are two very different creatures) that it was all about luck. Finding the right person on the right day who was looking for exactly what you were trying to sell. Like winning the lottery. Sheer dumb luck.

But that’s not exactly true. It’s more about MATH.

Yes, I said it, the word most of us creative types shrink in fear of. Math. Math will make you successful, or not. and here’s how.

Let’s say you wrote a book. A good book, nay a GREAT book. You decide that you want the *fame and fortune of being a published author. So you draft a query letter and send your manuscript off like kids on Halloween, door to door begging for sweets.

If you send that query to one agent, your chances of getting published are about zero. Sorry, them’s the facts. Zero. Zip. Nada. It could be the best book EVER WRITTEN IN THE HISTORY OF EVER and the math is still against you. If you send that same query to ten agents, your odds go up. One hundred agents later, and the odds grow. Now add a few small press publishers into that mix. The odds double, triple, quadruple. Because now, you are playing the numbers game. Say you throw a water balloon onto a low traffic street. Odds are, you won’t hit anything. But keep tossing those little bundles of fun and you are bound to hit something eventually. So don’t be afraid or ashamed of high numbers. High numbers are good. They mean your changes of winning are good too.

This is where perseverance comes into play. What are your odds of winning the lottery if you never buy a ticket? Zilch. Same thing applies to this. The more you play, the better your chances of winning big. The difference is, the lottery won’t write you a letter telling you that you are an untalented loser (and yes, some rejections can be or at least feel that harsh.) Perseverance is what allows you to brush off the thorns of NO and keep running, striving to reach that elusive YES.

Well, perseverance and chocolate.

So what is luck? It’s a way to justify success or failure as somehow beyond your control. Have you ever picked up a book and thought, this is just awful! How did this book get published with (insert big publisher here) and I can’t even get looked at?!? Well, they must have gotten lucky, right? Or on the flip side of that, you can tell yourself that string of rejections isn’t because your book needs work, it’s just bad luck.

Nope. Wrong.

With everything in life, you are what you make yourself. You are as successful as you make yourself. You think only writers with an ‘in’ in the industry can get published? Then create an ‘in’ for yourself. Be resourceful. Be stubborn. Be creative. Don’t think you can do it? Then you can’t. You have to grab life by the tender bits and take what you want. Yes, it may be hard. Yes, it may take a long time. But it will happen if you make it happen. So *go kick a leprechaun off a balcony and take control of your own destiny. Your luck will be whatever you make it.

*Rich and famous author may be a figment of your imagination

*I do not condone leprechaun violence, except in SyFy channel movies.

Extracted_cover_120
Welcome to the war.
The Tesla Institute is a premier academy that trains young time travelers called Rifters. Created by Nicola Tesla, the Institute seeks special individuals who can help preserve the time stream against those who try to alter it.
The Hollows are a rogue band of Rifters who tear through time with little care for the consequences. Armed with their own group of lost teens–their …only desire to find Tesla and put an end to his corruption of the time stream.
Torn between them are Lex and Ember, two Rifters with no memories of their life before joining the time war.
When Lex’s girlfriend dies during a mission, the only way he can save her is to retrieve the Dox, a piece of tech which allows Rifters to re-enter their own timeline without collapsing the time stream. But the Dox is hidden deep within the Telsa Institute, which means Lex must go into the enemy camp. It’s there he meets Ember, and the past that was stolen from them both comes flooding back.
Now armed with the truth of who they are, Lex and Ember must work together to save the future before the battle for time destroys them both…again.
* * * *
Add EXTRACTED to your Goodreads
Follow The Lost Imperials on Facebook
Discover the world of The Lost Imperials on their Official Website

Slings and Arrows

I love reading. I always have. I was reading before my first day of kindergarten and, as my mother tells it, when I couldn’t read something, I’d just make up the story as I went along.

424608_10151092482722909_2071727673_n(And thus, a writer was born.)

Being a writer isn’t a huge leap from being a reader, or at least it wasn’t for me. I feel like it was the only logical progression. To create a world and characters of my own was the most rewarding thing I ever tried. For the first time I controlled the ending–happy or sad. I got to create beautiful or terrifying worlds. I got to take that journey first, as the characters dragged me along for the ride. It was magic. The closest thing you can get to actually existing inside a story.

That said, publishing is a whole other beast.

events poster(That’s me! That’s MY name! I am so legit!!)

Publishing is hard and slow and scary in ways most people can’t imagine. You basically spend months (sometimes years) carving out pieces of your heart and soul, putting them on paper, then send them off to be cut up, brutalized, criticized, and generally mutilated by everyone from editors, to reviewers, to that nosy neighbor who begged for a copy but then decided to tell you every chance she got just how awful it was. So why do we walk that tight rope of insanity? Well, it’s kind of obvious really.

We love books.

We LOVE them. I LOVE them.

DSC00634(Why yes, I AM riding a bike in that bookstore. I do what I want.)

The joy and pride we feel when someone else loves our books the way we love other people’s books, is indescribable. I remember the first time I fell in love with a book. It was My Antonia and I was probably nine. That story lived inside me long after I’d put the book back on the shelf. Even today I can remember my favorite parts and how they made me feel. I’ve fallen in love with countless other books since then. Books of all genres, sizes, and POV’s.To be able to do that for other people, wow. It reminds me of a line from Harry Potter. “…to brew fame and bottle glory…” That’s what a writer does. We are word magicians.

*Watch closely as we create stunning worlds of imagination using only caffeine and lunacy.*

big_90640(that’s about right…)

And when I survived the slings and arrows of publishing my first book, something amazing happened. People fell in love with MY book. They told me how much they loved this or that and how it touched them. Mind=Blown.

And I was hooked. Slings and arrows be damned.

So here I am, many books later (and many more to come) and I can’t imagine doing anything else. So, thank you, dear readers, for letting me do what I love more than anything: making stories for you to fall in love with.

That’s a lotta love, people.

Extracted_cover_120Welcome to the war.
The Tesla Institute is a premier academy that trains young time travelers called Rifters. Created by Nicola Tesla, the Institute seeks special individuals who can help preserve the time stream against those who try to alter it.
The Hollows are a rogue band of Rifters who tear through time with little care for the consequences. Armed with their own group of lost teens–their …only desire to find Tesla and put an end to his corruption of the time stream.
Torn between them are Lex and Ember, two Rifters with no memories of their life before joining the time war.
When Lex’s girlfriend dies during a mission, the only way he can save her is to retrieve the Dox, a piece of tech which allows Rifters to re-enter their own timeline without collapsing the time stream. But the Dox is hidden deep within the Telsa Institute, which means Lex must go into the enemy camp. It’s there he meets Ember, and the past that was stolen from them both comes flooding back.
Now armed with the truth of who they are, Lex and Ember must work together to save the future before the battle for time destroys them both…again.
* * * *
Add EXTRACTED to your Goodreads
Follow The Lost Imperials on Facebook
Discover the world of The Lost Imperials on their Official Website

Ember’s New Year’s Eve

There’s no holiday decorations up in the Tesla Institute. There’s been no pause in training or exchanging of silly gifts. I wouldn’t even know what day it is, if not for Ethan and his contagious enthusiasm knocking on my door.
“What are rules for, if not to be broken?” he asks with a devious grin.
I don’t know what to say to that, so I let him drag me off in the middle of the night. I’m still in my soft grey sweatpants and burgundy tank top. My dark hair is coiled into a bun at the top of my head, stray tendrils escaping wildly as we weave through the desolate corridors. It isn’t the first time he’s done this, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.
Outside the Institute the island is deserted. The only sound is the roll and crash of waves hitting shore. I rub the goosebumps off my arms.
I hear the shrill whistle of the firework before I see it.  In the distance the sky erupts in a riot of color. Ethan drapes an arm over my shoulder and we watch until the last rocket explodes in the sky.
“Happy New Year, Ember,” he whispers.
I huff. “Isn’t that a bit redundant, coming from a time traveler?”
Turning to look at him, I see the grin hasn’t left his face. “Maybe.” He looks back to the sky, which has grown dark again. “Are you going to make a resolution?”
I press my mouth into a thin line. “Seems like a silly idea, seeing as I might not make it through the Trials, much less the whole year.”
 “Don’t think like that. The Trials are going to be a snap.” He nudges me, “Besides, Good things are coming our way. I can feel it.”
I follow his gaze across the horizon. The air stirs, blowing through my hair and making me shiver. A feeling of unease sets firmly in my belly.
“Something’s coming, that’s for sure.”
* * *
Extracted_cover_120Welcome to the war.
The Tesla Institute is a premier academy that trains young time travelers called Rifters. Created by Nicola Tesla, the Institute seeks special individuals who can help preserve the time stream against those who try to alter it.
The Hollows are a rogue band of Rifters who tear through time with little care for the consequences. Armed with their own group of lost teens–their …only desire to find Tesla and put an end to his corruption of the time stream.
Torn between them are Lex and Ember, two Rifters with no memories of their life before joining the time war.
When Lex’s girlfriend dies during a mission, the only way he can save her is to retrieve the Dox, a piece of tech which allows Rifters to re-enter their own timeline without collapsing the time stream. But the Dox is hidden deep within the Telsa Institute, which means Lex must go into the enemy camp. It’s there he meets Ember, and the past that was stolen from them both comes flooding back.
Now armed with the truth of who they are, Lex and Ember must work together to save the future before the battle for time destroys them both…again.
* * * *
Add EXTRACTED to your Goodreads
Follow The Lost Imperials on Facebook
Discover the world of The Lost Imperials on their Official Website